The AdTech Dataviz attic (really, truly, sorry)


Summary
An ad-tech company with a product in need of UX leadership. The team had achieved a robust feature set for an MVP and were looking to take the product to version2. I came on as a UX Lead to pay the existing debt and prepare the product for wider adoption amongst the many agencies owned by the parent company. 

Toughest challenges
The toughest challenges I face(d) are as always, internal culture. The processes in place when I arrived focused on superficial design research. The need for an in-depth understanding of user expectations was apparent to me but the cost was not yet clear to key stakeholders. Challenge accepted. 

Process
My first task was to redesign the entire interface. I started with a series of in-person interviews. I interviewed any internal stakeholder that would give me the time. A wide range of inter-organizational expectations began to emerge. Once I corralled the surprisingly diverse expectations, I executed performance testing on the existing application using the stakeholder interview results as the basis for the testing script. 

When I had sufficient input from both internal and external stakeholders and users, I paper sketched the proposed UI edits, socializing each iteration. When the proposed redesign edits and phases met with consistent approval I started in on the interactive wireframes. These were then socialized with users in an ongoing process of design, socialize, iterate, and repeat. 

Tools
My preferred tools are a whiteboard and post-its. In this case I  used Omnigraffle for static wireframes and Axure for interactive wireframes. Presentations are Omnigraffle and the ubiquitous Powerpoint. 

Team
The team consists of 2 engineers as needed, PO, scrum master, QA lead, a graphic designer when needed, and myself. 


Insights
Design change like organizational change needs to be iterative. You can show a group a very advanced version of their current product yet selling in the idea is only one part of success. The remainder is to have the changes implemented without interfering with a multitude of other complex business needs. One has to take a long view, be patient, and be ready to negotiate without losing sight of the goal; "great user experience as a distinct business advantage". 


On to eLearning